Weekend Open Thread

“A people free to choose will always choose peace.”

–Ronald Reagan

70 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Duke Cox says:

    I have a message for Powerful Pear.

    You…and your king and all his orange minions aren’t worth the dirt on Zelenskys’ boots. To echo the response of the valiant 13 Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island.

    “Go fuck yourself.”

    • Powerful Pear says:

      Thank God that the Ukrainian people have Obama blankets to protect themselves.

      You Democrats elected a senile buffoon who has been wrong on every foreign policy initiative he has offered.

      You sir, your slavish adherence to the fraud of climate change and demonization  of oil and gas has made tyrants and terrorist more powerful than ever. German and Italy and others in Europe have bought into climate fraud closing down nuclear power that have left them dependent on Putin. You and your ilk have made America a weak influence in world events. Soon Iran will have atomic weapons thanks to Obama/Biden. A country full of people who shout “death to America” every day. I tend to believe them.

      So you can say fuck you as many times as you want, and I’m sure the hair on your legs stand up just like Joes when you do it. If it makes you feel good than say it over and over and over and over and over. You are wrong and the American people will have their say soon and the Democratic Party will finally be the party of KOOKS. So, go get yourself a megaphone and practice your “fuck you”. You will be saying it for a long time.

      • kwtree says:

        So, still a Big Fan of the Big Lie, hey? You do know that your Trumpy Puppet sucked up to Putin and undid the Iran nuclear deal, right? 

      • ParkHill says:

        PP the troll-boy is Anti-American and Pro-fascism.

      • davebarnes says:

        До свидания, толстый русский тролль

      • spaceman2021 says:

        The fraud of climate change  Right there you have lost all credibility.  The science is clear, even though you don't understand.  And remember when trump resisted selling Javelin missiles to Ukraine, the very missiles being used to take out Russian tanks?  Nah, you're just a pathetic sniveling lil fascist.  And yeah, fuck you

      • unnamed says:

        At least Biden can pronounce words like "United States" and "Origins".

        And we need predictions about the future from a fascist who kept saying Trump would win in 2020 when he was NEVER popular, and NEVER got more votes than his opponent.

         

      • MichaelBowman says:

        I’m laughing as I imagine tens-of-thousands of old white men like our rotten Pfruit standing in their front yards making pfools of themselves, yelling at the clouds while using their best Homer Simpson impression. 
         

        Putie never had a better friend than (the other) Old Man Suffering from Dementia…

         

      • MichaelBowman says:

        “Obama blankets” 

        LOL – did you graduate third grade? 

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        "demonization of oil and gas………"

        Perhaps you can account, Pear, for the hundreds of thousands of acres of undeveloped oil & gas leases in the western US. The country could have energy independence, but the big energy companies aren't doing their part.

        But, hey, it's our capitalist system and all those undeveloped leases look really good on the corporate balance sheets.

        "Germany and Italy and others…….dependent on Putin." You aren't very well read, are you? The Feb. 19 issue of The Economist has a good article on German wind power. So sorry that you won't get real facts, like those, by listening to OANN and Steve Bannon's podcasts.

        • MichaelBowman says:

          …about that War on Rural Colorado: it appears to be cloaked in economic stimulus in the billions.  Some of the largest transfers of wealth from the Front Range electrical consumers to the Eastern plains (all of this driven by Amendment 37 (which all of rural Colorado voted against) and the following legislative accomplishments of the Ritter – Hickenlooper – Polis administrations).  

          Colorado regulators approve Xcel’s massive new transmission line for the Eastern Plains

           

          Colorado utility regulators approved a plan on Wednesday to build a massive $1.7 billion transmission loop around the Eastern Plains. 

          Xcel Energy, Colorado's largest power company, and other utilities proposed the so-called Power Pathway to assist a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. It calls for 560 miles of high-voltage transmission lines and four new substations. 

          Once completed, the company claims it will have enough capacity to ferry 5,500 megawatts of wind and solar power to the electrical grid. The company hopes to complete the first segments in 2025 — a rapid timeline for massive infrastructure projects.

          In filings submitted to Colorado’s Public Utilities Commission, Xcel Energy has argued the project will help meet its goal of 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050. State agencies have also said it would bring Colorado closer to its climate targets. 

          Regulators withheld a green light for a separate 90-mile dogleg into Baca County, which would allow the company to access some of the richest wind resources in Colorado. The Public Utilities Commission will consider approval after seeing bids to build solar and wind projects in the area without the additional transmission infrastructure.

          Xcel Energy first proposed the project in March 2021. At the time, the company said it would help solve what energy wonks call "the chicken-and-egg problem." Unlike fossil fuel plants, wind and solar projects can be built so quickly there often is not enough transmission capacity to carry the electricity to homes and businesses.

          Both utility advocates and some environmental groups saw the Power Pathway as an answer. The approval comes as regulators consider a separate proposal to allow Xcel Energy to build about 5,500 megawatts of new Colorado wind and solar generation, along with additional battery storage. If regulators approve the generation projects, companies will then bid to build the different projects. 

          Ken Wilson, an engineering fellow with Western Resource Advocates, said those bidders now know they will have adequate transmission access.

          "It's cost-effective. We'll get more bids and cheaper bids because we're committing to this transmission now," Wilson said.

          After submitting the initial proposal, a coalition of environmental groups, labor organizations, state agencies, solar companies joined a non-unanimous settlement in support of the Power Pathway. 

          Advocates for ratepayers pushed back. In testimony submitted to the commission, the Office of the Utility Consumer Advocate and other ratepayer advocates argued Xcel’s coalition had not demonstrated a need for all segments of the project. In addition, the opponents said the proposed settlement shifts the risk of cost overruns onto customers. 

          Residents from the Eastern Plains also testified against the project, saying power resources for the Front Range shouldn’t be built in far-off rural areas.

    • Voyageur says:

      In view of our Pfruit's new sponsorship, we hereby rename him Rublesteltskin.

  2. allyncooper says:

    Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
     

    President Ronald Reagan

  3. 2Jung2Die says:

    Well, Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman has his take on TFG's role in the whole thing, and I think it's worth reading no matter whose side you're on. And just a reminder, the first impeachment in 2019 was at least partially about trying to strike a deal with Ukraine to dig up dirt on Sleepy Joe in exchange for military aid. Directly from the Article of Impeachment:

    …the release of $391 million of United States taxpayer funds that
    Congress had appropriated on a bipartisan basis for the purpose of
    providing vital military and security assistance to Ukraine to oppose
    Russian aggression and which President Trump had ordered suspended;

  4. Powerful Pear says:

    Hey Duke…….I can’t hear you. Check your batteries.

  5. Powerful Pear says:

    Please, please, please, can those of you who have influence; ask Hillary to go get the reset button back from Russia or at least go push it several more times.

  6. harrydoby says:

    Mad Vlad is presiding over the economic destruction of his own nation, to which his only answer is to threaten nuclear war.

    The central bank restrictions target access to the more than $600 billion in reserves that the Kremlin has at its disposal, and are meant to block Russia’s ability to support the ruble as it plunges in value amid tightening Western sanctions.

    U.S. officials said Saturday’s steps were framed to send the ruble into “free fall” and promote soaring inflation in the Russian economy.

    The decline of the ruble likely would send inflation soaring, which would hurt everyday Russians and not just the Russian elites who were the targets of the original sanctions. The resulting economic disruption, if Saturday’s measures are as harsh as described, could leave Putin facing political unrest at home.

    Analysts predicted intensifying runs on banks by Russians and falling government reserves as Russians scrambled to sell their targeted currency for safer assets.

    The new Russian currency should be called the "rubble".

    • MichaelBowman says:

      So can we make one slight change to V’s moniker for Pfruit with a play on both words? 
       

      #Rubblesteltskin

      A quote by Graham Gallagher this morning (taking shots at the MAGA – Ttumpy faction of the party):

      Seemingly the only politically plugged in people in the United States whose brains were not immediately turned into warm pancake batter by this conflict were 50 year old centrist guys who all own copies of Janes Defense Monthly and have strong opinions on Norways naval budget

  7. notaskinnycook says:

    Cryptocurrency miners have donated $8M to Ukraine since the appeal went out yesterday. I'm sure they're just getting started: https://www.reuters.com/world/china/ukraines-government-raises-crypto-worth-8-million-crowdfunding-appeal-2022-02-27/

    • ParkHill says:

      Watch Crypto collapse as well. Crypto is for drug dealers, oligarchs and speculators. Maybe it goes up at first, as the oligarchs try to move money, but then it will collapse.

      How can you mine or exchange Crypto without the internet?

      What happens when Oligarchs can't sell their crypto?

      What happens when your NFT has a virus program embedded in it? Can't sell it, out of your wallet. Can't erase it. Can't touch it or else it triggers the virus.

      Welcome to high-tech "heaven".

  8. MichaelBowman says:

    Expect to see a massive exodus…from Russia. Anyone with means and a passport is trying to get out right now. Reporting that many urban, educated Russians are horrified and terrified, and they know it won't be just economic hardship they’re facing, but political repression, too. 

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      "Reporting that many urban, educated Russians are horrified and terrified, and they know it won't be just economic hardship they’re facing, but political repression, too."

      That's unfortunate because they will leave the poor and the ignorant behind – the MRGA crowd. Putin's base will grow in strength if the opposition flees.

  9. MichaelBowman says:

    LOL. These clowns….

    Hey Pfruit, you have a new villain. Her name is Greta.

  10. MichaelBowman says:

    Charlie Sykes has an excellent piece in Morning Shots today. Read it all the way to the end Pfruit. Oh hell, what am I thinking…you have the attention span of a gnat…start with the last paragraph and work your way backwards until you lose interest. 

  11. DavidThi808 says:

    For the first time in years – I've written a blog entry. This is an existential war and the people of Ukraine, who have been building a vibrant democracy and reducing corruption, bear the brunt of it.

    They are fighting this fight for all of us.

  12. JohnInDenver says:

    Consider a couple of things Russia's invasion has done.

     * In 2006, the members of NATO pledged to move to have each country agree to spend at least 2% of the GDP for defense. No one expected the move to be done immediately, but there was an expectation of movement toward the goal.   However, the "2007-2008 financial crisis [resulted in] the declining share of resources devoted to defence in many Allied countries, up to 2014."  In 2014, in no small part due to the occupation of Crimea, there was a recommitment to 2%, with a bit more urgency.  "In 2014, three Allies spent 2% of GDP or more on defence; this went up to 11 Allies in 2020 and a majority of Allies have national plans in place to meet this target by 2024." There are 30 members of NATO — the estimate of 2021 spending in each showed "10 nations meeting NATO's proportional 2% target." 

    And now?   After sixteen years of saying "someday we'll do it," "Germany announced Sunday it was committing 100 billion euros ($113 billion) to a special armed forces fund and would keep its defense spending above 2% of GDP from now on. It was one of the most significant shifts in European security policy in decades, brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine." Germany is moving up from 1.3% to a minimum of 2.0%.  Given the large GDP of Germany, at 2% they will be outspending the Russians.

     * Second, whatever the level of difficulty for the Russians thus far, there could be much worse to come.  "Some people say cities are the sponges that soak up troops.  Even most recently, if you look at the Battle of Mosul in 2016, it took 100,000 Iraqi security forces to pry out 5,000 irregular militia, out of Mosul – and nine months to do it."  And the Iraqis had near-total freedom to provide support, a level of control no place close to the current ground situation in Ukraine.

  13. DavidThi808 says:

    This is gigantic:

    Ukraine is "one of us and we want them in the European Union", Ursula von der Leyen has told Euronews.

    As of today, she is still talking "there's a process…" The thing is, at the speed the politicians are evolving right now, this could turn into immediately in a couple of days.

  14. itlduso says:

    Maybe it's the cigar and margarita talking that I'm enjoying this fine February, 2022 afternoon in Denver but,

    Former Trump aide Monica Crowley told CPAC that Michelle Obama would put Republicans “in a very difficult position” if she ran for president in 2024, because the former first lady is both popular and “immune to criticism,” The Guardian reports.

    Michelle would be great, but she's always hated politics and she has no administrative experience.

    My money is on Eric Adams, NYC mayor.  Former Republican from 1997 – 2001.  NY state senator for four terms.  Assuming he does a credible job as NYC mayor he'd be formidable.  I'd put $100 down now on a 3,300+ odds to win in 2024 (also assuming we still have a functioning democracy).  (I did win money betting on Obama in 2008.)

  15. notaskinnycook says:

    EU members are talking about essentially boycotting Russian O&G. Some economists are worried about prices skyrocketing. Do I remember right that U.S. producers have been cutting back to keep prices up? How much of the gap can they fill if the EU really does shut Russia out? 

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